Leeds Rhinos Foundation has been harnessing the power of sport to help tackle the issue of domestic violence through their innovative Tackle It project, which recently recommenced at HMP Wealstun.
Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, the first six-week block of Tackle It was recently delivered to a group of 10 offenders at the prison in the lead up to Christmas and received a positive response from all those involved.
Combining education with physical activity, the aim of the Tackle It project is to deliver a programme of engaging workshops and value-based lessons for attendees to take positive steps forward in their lives and successfully re-integrate into society following their release, helping to break the cycle of re-offending.
Feedback from the participants was extremely positive, with the hope that the skills and experiences they have taken away from the programme will create significant long-term changes to their behaviours and outlooks, thereby reducing the risk of reoffending taking place.
One of the men who attended Tackle It commented: “The Tackle It programme has allowed me to understand my emotions better and helped me to seeing situations from the other person’s point of view.
“I now feel a lot calmer, I can realise the bad in situations and I have learnt to take responsibility for being in the wrong.”
Explaining what he has learnt from the course, another participant said: “It has opened my eyes and made me evaluate how to communicate and express myself differently in more positive ways. I really enjoyed all the activities and working together as a team.”
Further feedback included: “Tackle It was great because it gave me a completely different perspective on both parties roles in arguments and taught me ways to effectively resolve conflict, by assessing situations calmly before acting.”
“I personally enjoyed all the sporting activities we did and I thought it was well broke down between the physical side and the educational workshops in a classroom environment.”
Dane Weatherill, Project Tutor for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully completed the delivery of our first 12 Tackle It sessions back at HMP Wealstun following the previous disruptions caused by coronavirus pandemic.”
“Throughout the course we have been working across a range of different issues, such as addressing anger and relationship triggers, understanding behaviours and consequences and other personal development areas; such as goal-setting, overcoming barriers and motivation.
“As a Foundation, for us to be involved in a project that has had such a positive effect in helping to tackle domestic abuse and reduce re-offending rates, is fantastic.
“The way the participants have all bought into the project and genuinely taken on board everything from the sessions is particularly pleasing and we hope that we will see positive long-term outcomes for all those involved.”
For advice and support for those suffering domestic abuse, visit the West Yorkshire Police website on the link below:
For more information about Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Tackle It project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.